New Jersey Alimony: Different Needs and Purposes

Alimony as Financial Relief

The court can order a spouse to pay alimony to the dependent spouse in a divorce case. Either spouse can ask for alimony if he or she has a financial need, but it isn’t an entitlement. Unlike child support, the courts do not calculate New Jersey alimony using state guidelines. The court will issue an alimony award based off of the spouse’s financial need but will consider several other factors, such as the ability of the supportive spouse to pay and the duration of the marriage.

New Jersey has four types of alimony:

  • Permanent alimony
  • Limited duration alimony
  • Rehabilitative alimony, and
  • Reimbursement alimony

Each type has a different purpose and can serve different needs. Permanent alimony, also called open-duration alimony, is ongoing financial support with no set duration. The courts only order permanent alimony in long-term marriages. Limited duration alimony is ongoing financial support with a set end date. A spouse can ask for rehabilitative alimony to help him or her become self-sufficient after divorce. For example, a judge may order rehabilitative alimony to help the dependent spouse finish school or complete a job training program. Reimbursement alimony is used to pay back a spouse who supported his or her spouse through school. For example, a judge may order reimbursement alimony to pay back a spouse who supported a spouse who went to graduate school.

Remember, there are no set guidelines for determining alimony in New Jersey. For this reason, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced matrimonial attorney if you have questions about alimony. The law provides little guidance for the amount and duration of alimony other than those above. You may need an attorney to help you determine what type of alimony you need and negotiate an alimony amount with your spouse. If your spouse will not agree, you can present your request to the court to seek a court-ordered alimony award. Without an advocate fighting on your behalf, it can be hard to argue your case in court, especially if you feel the odds are stacked against you.

Do you have questions about New Jersey alimony? Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help you obtain an alimony award that is in your favor. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


Let us know how we can help
Contact Our New Jersey Family Lawyers Today